Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Desert Island Discs 73 Keepers by Jones



73 Keepers by Jones 2010


Firstly happy new year and here's hoping 2013 is a great one for you and all your loved ones

This is a tough one to go for Keepers or Hopeland ? I guess Loss over hope in songs wins it for me , despite the title track of Hopeland being one of my favourite songs ever. The other reason is that the spoken pieces on Keepers just edges those on Hopeland.

Anyway here is what I had to say when it came out


Last year Trevor Jones lead singer of Miracle Mile took the plunge and released a solo lp "Hopeland" under his own name. This was prompted by a change in approach to writing and the more reflective nature of the songs , some of which were spoken word, poems set to music. I raved about it here. Well it seems the long school holiday for Miracle Mile is lasting a bit longer as he has recorded a follow up lp "Keepers"
It really does feel like a sister lp of "Hopeland" with again spoken word pieces along side reflective songs. Although this time the prompting is a sense of loss rather than a sense of hope.


For me there are a three key differences with the 2 lps, firstly this time the power of the spoken pieces comes less from a sense of simplicity and more from being immersed in a short story. The backing to these tracks again perfectly walks the tightrope of supporting and enhancing the mood without distracting from the words.
Secondly there is more a sense of flexing the recording muscles as far as the backing tracks go , and as a result the lp is full of small stand out moments , the hand claps on folding sheets the backing vocals on In Your Eye and the beautiful almost classical guitar solo of I deny. The use of acoustic guitar , piano and slide guitar mean these moments really shine. It is one of those lps that gives pleasure in the smallest things
Thirdly part of the this muscle flexing sees a number of the songs augmented by some fantastic orchestration from Miracle Mile partner Marcus Cliffe. I suspect the cost of getting an orchestra in means that these sounds are from a machine, if this is the case never has a machine sounding so warm and immersed in the mood of each song. For me these are the real highlights of Keepers and why much as I loved Hopeland ,this is the better lp.
There is also a comforting sense of familiarity in some of the themes and images linking Keepers with Hopeland and the more personal Miracle Mile songs, the search for blue skies, the memories of a white dog to the extent that there is a stripped down cover of the Miracle Mile song Papillon
 
Finally somehow Marcus Cliffe's production has created an intimate personal sound that is pin sharp. Even on my crappy car stereo I almost found myself looking at the passenger seat expecting to see Trevor with guitar doing an in car performance

If you go to Trevor's website here you can listen to tracks and get a free download of Ghost of Song which combines the songs of both Hopeland and Keepers , however if you do you'd be missing out on the spoken word pieces so  I would buy the whole lp

You can buy Keepers here

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this David.
    Just in from a fine night out to find your kindness here.
    A night out to remind me that life is surely all about connections.
    Call it love/hate/friendship/enmity, the important thing is to take care with those connections... easy to say, not so easy to follow through on.
    I love my friends. Particularly in this removed environment; it brings to mind many quotes (courtesy TT)

    "A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud." (Emerson)

    "We cannot tell the the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over." (James Boswell)

    "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved." (Victor Hugo)

    "So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend." (R.L. Stevenson)

    "What passion cannot Music raise and quell?" (John Dryden)

    Too much brandy, not enough sleep.
    All the best for 2013 David.
    Thanks for the company.
    Trev

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  2. Jones... Ah yes, She's a Lady, It's Not Unusual, tight trousers... good pick!

    #73 - MARVIN GAYE - What's Going On (1971)

    - the sexiest gospel/protest album ever made... a soul/R&B masterpiece.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pESkeDaMgpI

    PS: 2012 a wonderful year on so many counts. Such a pleasure to exchange/inform/joke/banter with like-minded mates...
    Dave & Trev: This blog thing demands incredible dedication/intellect/time. I'm quite in awe of your talents, and appreciate your diligence and labour in sharing this special experience with us. Thanks guys!

    “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words" (C.S. Lewis)

    HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL!

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    1. Ay, as the tight trousers reveal; I'm a bit behind on all things blog as 'recovery' seems to be the daily order of the day most days these days...

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  3. I've just woke up after a blurred night of drinking every kind of cocktail made by a good firend who took to the occaision by wearing a red cravat (luckily judi agreed to drive)

    Some great sentiments from you both so here is to a mm lp in 2013 and more jones lps to come! ..... and myabe a live get totgether as well!!!!

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  4. That would be grand.
    Working on the first of those 3 requests on Thursday (in a studio with no kitchen, toilet or bathroom it seems; MM go 'grunge'...)

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  5. An excellent choice. I have it quite a bit higher on my list. Warm, melodic and sincere. It's like sitting down and listening to an old friend.
    My # 73 Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Rattlesnakes .I hear the shouts of 'too low!' Loved it at the time but to be honest it's not an album I revisit very often
    Happy New Year to you all
    Phil

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  6. Thanks for that Phil.
    I placed Rattlesnakes too early; should be top in y 30; I'm not into histrionic solos but love the end of Forest Fire...
    I'm falling behind...

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